If it is December, it is `Destination Chennai' for all! People from within and outside the country converge on the capital of Carnatic music during this month.
If it is December, it is `Destination Chennai' for all! People from within and outside the country converge on the capital of Carnatic music during this month. From temples to sabhas, everybody hosts concerts during this month. So much so, music of Carnatic sort tends to become some kind of a `public good' especially since the gentle breeze of December picks it up from somewhere and moves it to everywhere without anybody asking it to carry it forward! Music just floats in the air! Any practitioner of Carnatic music just wants to give a concert during this month.
A concert in Chennai during the December season has now become some sort of a passport for any musician to go places! So much so, there is heavy demand on the Sabha organizers, who have to consider so many aspects before giving a chance to any artiste during the season.
Nowhere on this earth, so many concerts (running to over 1,000 on a conservative estimate) are held inside a single month in any city! People - cutting across age, gender and status - make a beeline for these concerts. Not all of them are necessarily discerning Carnaic music lovers. Some go there to hear. Others head there to see. A few go there just to entertain themselves. And, still others make it to Sabhas to relish the other offerings (the tifin in canteens put up at the sabhas!). Sponsors, too, have multiplied to cash in on the mood.
Season December, thus, offers many things to so many, depending on what one is looking for. It's a joyous convergence, nevertheless. Can the collective joy that the season offers be converted into a meaningful institutional mechanism to carry Carnatic music forward? It is easier said than done, however. It is `doable', nevertheless, I guess.